Sunday, February 20, 2011

Halifax Whistler 100 Walk - Uniting Strangers, Dogs And Friends

On February 13th, at 1pm almost 100 dogs and their owners, assembled at the South entrance triangle, on the Halifax Common.

The boys, Alec's friend Charles, Belle and I were five of them.

Some of you may remember me mentioning the Walk for the Whistler 100, that I attempted to organize for Halifax.

In six days.

With a kennel club event going on, that would have hundreds of dogs and owners attending.

Unexpectedly finding out I needed a PERMIT from HRM to hold the walk in the first place.

And then there was that whole Canada Games thing, that potentially had people either busy checking out the events on a Sunday afternoon, or in Florida.

We'd most likely get more people if I pushed the date back, but I wanted to coincide with what seemed to be the majority of BC walks, at the time I originally decided to have the walk.

So I went ahead with it anyway.

I figured, if it turned out it was only the boys, Belle and I who showed up, at least we would have tried.

At the beginning of the week, I contacted a childhood friend of mine, Christine Greening, owner of Bark & Fitz, Halifax.

We hadn't actually seen each other in over 20yrs, but had been keeping up with each other lately on Facebook.

I figured if anyone could help me spread the word about this, she could.

And she did.

Christine and Jenn Sinclair, retail manager of Bark & Fitz, Halifax

With only six days to get the word out, between my cold emailing media, vets, shelters, pet stores, groomers, walkers, sitters, and posting it everywhere I could think of and her network of key people in the dog community who graciously spread the word, we managed to get ...


Yes, I'm counting the Dude we picked up at the Oval along the way!

Seventy four people (and then some) showed up to raise awareness, honour the Whistler 100 and had a great walk with their dogs!


WAY TO GO Halifax, Nova Scotia! I'm SO proud of us!

When the walkers and dogs first arrived, they were greeted by (my 10yr old) Adam, who not only did a great job on our sign ...

He also handed a red ribbon to each owner for their dog.

There were 100 ribbons on hand, one for each of the slain huskies.

AND ... he took almost 180 pictures in total for us that day!

Thanks so much Adam for taking them all! GREAT JOB, Hun! You ROCK!

Belle on her way to the walk.

Alec (my 14 yr old) and his friend Charles held the sign for us the whole way!

I know for a fact, some people walked who DIDN'T even HAVE a dog!

For a bunch of dogs who had never met each other (for the most part) they all seemed to know they were there for a reason and just ... got along and walked. It was GREAT!

Our efforts didn't go unnoticed ... we made the 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm CBC radio news!

As well as the CBC morning news the next day.

They also did an online article, that you can find HERE.

THANKS, CBC! Much appreciated.

As for any other type of media coverage ... before, during or after ... nothing.

Very disappointing.

Various print, radio and tv media were notified early in the week (Tuesday).

They had lots of time to promote it. They didn't. Not that anybody heard or noticed.

They obviously didn't see this as a newsworthy event, as they didn't show up on Sunday either.


Having said that, THANKS MUCH to 101.3 The Bounce for posting the event notice to their event 411 website and Frankie's and K8's blogs!

I was also told FX 101.9 would mention it on air, but didn't personally hear it. So thanks to JB if it was!

Also have to give a shout out and BIG THANK YOU to Wilsons Gas Stop in Fall River, NS, for putting our poster up in the very middle of their door for ALL to see! BAM! Thanks much for the support, Wilsons!

Unfortunately, the only reason the CBC was there, was because of strategic location planning.

From their window, they noticed the large group of owners/dogs/bows gathered almost directly in front of their building, and realized they'd better come down and see what was going on.

Interview with Paul Palmeter of CBC, Halifax.

And I know, the walkers are VERY glad they did!

Now, you regulars in my Korner ... do you REALLY think it was a fluke that I planned our walk to be at the Common, during the Canada Games, when there would be a huge crowd at the Oval?

And potential media coverage?

Uh ... NO!

We needed to be seen! We needed people to know we were standing up for animal rights.

Standing up for the 100 who were frozen dead in a pit, somewhere in BC.

This WAS a newsworthy event.

A simple search for Whistler 100 will bring up various news articles either promoting upcoming walks, or by media on hand at an event.

They're walking as far as Italy and Norway!

People care!

Laws have to and will be changed and each person that took part in the Halifax walk was an integral part in making that happen.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out!

Also, to AAOAW, and especially to my childhood friend, Christine, for helping me pull it all together.

The Halifax Whistler 100 Walk . Uniting Strangers, Dogs And Friends.

If you would like to see some of the pics, and comments on them, that were posted by the AAOAW FB group page, feel free to do so by checking out THEIR ALBUM.

If you would like to see all 117 pictures that made it out of Adam's original 180, please check out MY ALBUM.

There WILL be another walk next year. In April, on the anniversary.

Hopefully on the Common, if we can get a permit again (thanks HRM, for a no-hassle walk, btw).

Join us!

Raise awareness.

Walk and (re)connect with friends.

Maybe ... Save a dog.

We all did ...


P.S. If anyone else with a camera happened to get a shot of the kid in the orange jacket, running around taking pictures, would you mind sending me a copy please? He was so busy TAKING pictures, he didn't actually get INTO any of them! Thanks! **smooches!**


Anonymous said...

Great job. Sorry Sherry and I missed it. I was up most of the night Saturday sick.

Danie B. said...

I'm so proud of you for organizing this successful event! You are awesome!